So this was the view from my car BEFORE we started running. I drove through a monsoon on my way to the Auburn Damn Overlook and I think it followed me. What's a little rain right? After Wednesday night's run, it wasn't anything this group couldn't handle.
Here is the group listening to Captain Kirk explain the day's run while Coach Nikon was out marking the trail. We were supposed to take off and eventually we'd connect with him. Sort of like hunting I suppose; he was the rabbit and we were hot on his tail trying to catch him. Sorry, I guess I've been watching way too many cartoons lately.
The agenda for today was to run the finish of American River 50 miler backwards and then turn around and run it forwards, as if we were finishing the race. So for those of you who don't know much about AR50, the last 3 miles are up hill and that is putting it mildly. Our goal for today was 3 to 3.5 hours of running.
The trails were definitely muddy, murky and wet. So muddy that when you put your foot down you have to becareful you don't lose a shoe in the process. You have to really give up the idea of trying to remain dry and clean on today's run. Whatever, there is no fun in staying clean anyways right?. Also, Mother Nature decided to throw a few "hurdles" at us to keep us on our toes.
Miss P climbing through one of many "road" blocks
The running out portion for me, was okay. Yes, my leg's were extremely sore despite having taken some Aleve before we started. Yes, Coach Nikon and Captain Kirk gave me grief for Thursday's workout. However, the muscles eventually relaxed and the legs felt okay. Maybe that was because my stomach decided to take a nose dive. I am still trying to dial in my pre-run eating situation. Obviously these last two long runs have been giving me some abdominal discomfort even though I am eating the same pre-run foods I ate while training for CIM. Captain Kirk made a good point of keeping a food journal. The only differences I can find right now is that I switched from Advil to Aleve. I also have to be careful my Celiac doesn't flare up which I think might be part of my problem. Perhaps something I ate recently had gluten and I didn't realize it. Either way, I need to dial that in quick before we ramp up any more mileage because running with Celiac that is not under control is not a possibility for me. It would be ugly.
Enough of that boring tummy talk. I will say, I forced down some Hammer Gels and some Luna Moons despite how I was feeling. The body needs fuel. Drinking water was hard though with the sloshy stomach. But every once in a while, I'd forget my "situation" and come across a view that was just begging for a photograph.
And sure enough I caught that pesky rabbit!
Coach Nikon (right) with Chuck (awesome Western States dude center) and Partner Jim (left, and no, he's not my partner). They were just shooting the breeze like it "ain't no thang" while I come huffing and puffing past. Coach N said that he flagged the trail to Avery's Pond. I stupidly ask "how will I know it is Avery's Pond? Is it obvious?" Silly blond girl.
That, however, was not the ONLY sign I saw while on my "leisurely" Saturday run. Let me share with you a few others I spotted along the way.
If you read the small print it says they "like small children" good thing I run like and look like a haggard old woman!
Eventually I hit the 1.5 hour mark on my watch which also brought me back in touch with some of the lead runners. My tummy and legs had me bringing up the caboose today.
A blurry shot of one of my training people.
Another really pretty shot. Even with the rain today the views were gorgeous!
Otherwise, not much to report on the 1.5 hours back to the overlook other than I was last. I was hurting (tummy) and yet, I was still smiling or at least I think I was. I really did have a great time today. What can be better than mud? Coach Nikon was out there with his camera so you'll have to keep an eye on his blog for better photography of today's run.
While I was
struggling running back to the overlook however, it dawned on me that today's run was extremely mental. With my own stupidity of running on tired legs and having my stomach (excuse the phrase) crap out on me, I honestly believe this run gave me some insight into what running the last few miles of the American River 50 miler will really be like. I mean c'mon, 50 miles is a long way and I know I am not going to feel all giddy and glorious throughout (although I'll try). The fact that I made it back to my car and STILL feel like I had a great time out there, only gives me more strength that I can do AR50 in April.
When I arrived home the Peanut and Vans were just sitting down to lunch. Apparently the sight of a soaking wet muddy momma does not compare to a yummy burrito. My girl has priorities obviously.
Mmmmmm bean and cheese burritos!!
**Please excuse the random placement of my photographs. I apparently do not know how to properly use blogger so therefore you get what you get.